Building healthy physical activity habits for kids

Katie Liddiard,

When we create a positive environment at home that focuses on fun and movement, we can help our children feel supported and confident in themselves when making healthier decisions, leading them to develop long-lasting healthy habits.

When it comes to building healthy habits and getting our kids moving, it’s important to know the basic guidelines for physical activity. Jump on the website and read our blog The ins and outs of physical activity to get all the information you need for knowing how much and what counts when it comes to being active.

Healthy habits are formed when we do something often or as a part of our daily routine, so work towards finding time for physical activity every day.

Encouraging kids to stay active in the early years can help them maintain a healthy routine too, which can set them up for the rest of their lives.

The simple message here is, try and move your bodies often and encourage your children to do the same.

Here are some great ways to start building those healthy habits.

Move more as a family

This can be a great way to spend time together and can become a fun part of your shared schedule.

Try activities like:

  • head out as a family on a weekend bush walk,
  • work in the garden together,
  • walk the dog around the block,
  • head to the park to play football, or
  • simply walk around your local streets in the evening.

Talk about moving more

As a family make moving our bodies fun and enjoy spending quality time together. When on the go, we can talk about the importance of moving our bodies and how this also boosts our mood and improves fitness. Talking positively about moving our bodies is a great start! If we’re loud about dreading going to the gym, remember to be loud about overcoming this, and the benefits we feel too! For example “I didn‘t feel like going for a walk early this morning because it was still dark, but I’m so glad I did! I feel much more energised!”

Help kids reflect on how they feel when they move as this can help them understand the benefits of being active and get them in touch with their bodies. Ask questions like:

  • How does your body feel after moving?
  • Do you feel more energised?
  • What is your favourite way to get your body moving?

Don’t forget to spend some time stretching

Stretching is a great habit to form. Try to set aside a time every day to get them stretching their bodies. They could even stretch while doing other daily tasks, such as brushing their teeth! Some simple stretches include:

Touch your toes Arms circles Side bends


Encourage them to try as many different sports as possible

Encourage your kids to try group activities and sign up for seasonal team sports. Playing a team sport can help a child’s development of social skills, improve self-esteem and help with many other life skills. Team sports aren’t limited to joining a club, they can be part of a family outing and be as simple as a game of cricket at the beach or a baseball game at the park – the possibilities are endless. 

Allow kids to find something they enjoy doing and remember, if they don’t like it, it’s okay for them to stop and find something new.

To help children feel supported and comfortable, it is important to create a safe space for them to learn, grow and discover. This can give them the confidence to try all sorts of new things, including new ways to be active and move their bodies. Embedding healthy habits into your family’s routine takes plenty of time and patience, but the benefits can last a lifetime.